Ashes to Ashes, Pixie Dust to Disneyland

by M-Gillies
The castle at Disneyland

Peter Pan wasn’t kidding when he said, “To die will be an awfully big adventure.” Fans are taking their loved ones’ ashes with them to Disneyland.

Disneyland, that magical Kingdom known for its motto of being the happiest place in the world isn’t without its own controversy. Since as far back as the early 90s, it seems the fairground’s attractions have attracted more than just the run-of-the-mill family attendees. In fact, in what could only be considered as guerilla activity, people have been scattering the ashes of their loved ones in the amusement park for years.

While Disneyland representatives deny the alleged rumors, it has been well-documented by Disneyland bloggers throughout the years that the 999 ghosts at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion have been accepting routine residents from attendants who scattered the remains of their loved ones throughout the ride.

While it’s clear that this isn’t Tinkerbell’s magical fairy dust coating the rides, ride operators who catch the act via surveillance camera require them to announce a temporary shutdown of a ride while a specialized custodial crews clean up the gritty ash and bone fragments using specially filtered vacuums.

The code for this act of ash dumping is called, HEPA Cleanup, and it generally prompts any ride that suffers from an epidemic of ash scattering to be shut down for up to two hours.

Technically considered a misdemeanor violation to scatter human ashes on private property without attaining written consent, Disneyland security and police can do little beyond identify the powder trails as human remains as mourners generally slip out of the ride exit and disappear into the park, never to be seen again.

With the Haunted Mansion being the most popular location for the final send offs of loved ones, it has become a growing trend for mourners to spread ashes in other attractions such as the Small World exhibit and recently the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, in which one woman who was caught on surveillance claimed she was merely emptying out baby powder.

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